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The Funding Agencies' Perspective on the Provision of Electronic Assistive Technology: Equipping for Life?

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Electronic assistive technology (EAT) – powered wheelchairs, communication equipment and environmental control systems – can greatly improve the user's and carers' quality of life if prescription is timely and appropriate. Despite the benefits that this equipment can bring, the provision of EAT is a highly confused area because different funding agencies with different remits are involved.

As part of a larger research project, a survey was carried out to investigate the remit of and the range of equipment supplied through three funding sources within a given geographical area. This paper gives the results of this survey and presents a snapshot of provision, showing the differences that can occur. It was found that a wide range of equipment was available through these agencies but that the variation in provision was great. Provision was affected adversely by differences in eligibility criteria, referral mechanisms and funding management.

The paper concludes that professionals working in this field should be aware of the level of services provided by all agencies throughout their areas. Solutions such as the joint funding of equipment are suggested for users who live in areas with services that have stringent criteria and are hence perhaps denied the independence that they could achieve.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1999

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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